A charity worker said Morrisons shows how little value humans place on creatures by selling the product for such a low price.
The Mirror reported how the octopuses, which were mistaken for babies but were mature specimens of a small species, were photographed reduced to a store in Eccles, near Manchester.
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Justin Webb, 41, a charity worker and vegan, took a photo of one and posted it on Twitter, saying: “36 pence for a dead baby octopus, one of the most amazing creatures to have never swam in the seas. I swear we don’t deserve this world.
His controversial tweet received 43,000 likes and 6,000 retweets.
Webb believed the huge response he received was in part due to the popularity of the 2020 Netflix documentary My Octopus Teacher, in which a filmmaker forms a relationship with an octopus in a bed of South African kelp.
The Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation, whose patrons include Lord Goldsmith, the minister for animal welfare, is among those who have criticized the supermarket.
The foundation is campaigning for octopus and lobsters to be recognized as sentient creatures and subject to the Animal Sensitivity Bill.
Lorraine Platt, co-founder of the association, told The Times: “It just shows you the low value we place on other living things in our world around us. I don’t think you can even buy a chocolate bar for 36p.
“Octopuses are very intelligent and sensitive animals that roam the seas and this picture is heartbreaking. It really pulls on the chords to see it shrink wrapped. It is pitifully sad and sinister.
The foundation wants to raise awareness of “so many healthy alternatives” to the consumption of marine animals.
Webb said, “I realized they were going to end up in the trash. It shows human contempt for life.
“They are beautiful, sentient creatures and you wouldn’t do that to dogs or cats. “
Morrisons said: ‘This is the most commonly caught species of octopus in Cornwall Eledone cirrhosa, which is much smaller than the common octopus Octopus vulgaris.
“The Eledone cirrhosa species can mature from 1 year, to a size between 5 and 12 cm. “
Their size depends on sex; males tend to be smaller and females larger.
He added: “While we try to manage our stock according to customer demands, this is not always possible. From time to time and as a last resort – to ensure food safe to eat is not wasted – we offer an extremely limited number of price reductions. “
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The Ministry of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said: “We have already commissioned an independent external review of the available scientific evidence on the susceptibility of the cephalopod class, which includes octopus, cuttlefish and squid. – and we will carefully consider the results of this review. . ”
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